Taki Theodoracopulos is usually found in Esquire Fortnightly as the author of the column High Life, but in this issue he reveals the ebb and flow of international society at the Grand Prix race in Monaco (page 60).
Dan Dorfman’s column on wristwatch lie detectors [Full Disclosure: “The End of Trust?” April 24] failed to mention that the use of phony lie detectors is widespread. In 1977, as many as 400,000 lie detector tests were administered by commercial polygraph firms, and fully one fifth of the nation’s major corporations are using polygraphs in personnel-related areas.
To survive, Americans are arranging to be paid in unreportable cash
On April 18, The New York Times published a guest column by British writer Anthony Sampson that began: “What is one to think about the economic and moral effects of the ‘black economy’? One by one the European nations have been discovering, with varying indignation, the growing numbers of people who are paid in cash, avoiding all taxes, and the underground network of the travail au noir, the schwarz arbeit, or moonlighting.”
The next five years could bring sharply slower growth at AT&T
The latest financial tidings from American Telephone & Telegraph seemed, at first glance, buoyant indeed: On April 18, just prior to the annual stockholder’s meeting, AT&T announced that its first-quarter performance was the best ever in both revenues and profits.
ABC, on a media acquisition binge, is casting hungry eyes at Macmillan, the $553.5-million publishing and educational biggie. This news is leaking from Lehman Brothers, an investment banking firm that’s trying to find a merger partner for Macmillan.
Shouldn’t customers know what they’re paying for? Many legal clients don’t
Last March 27, Robert Thaller, an assistant general counsel at the Twentieth Century-Fox Corporation in Los Angeles, wrote an angry letter to Richard Brooks, an associate at the giant Houston law firm of Baker & Botts. Thaller was concerned that a bill Baker & Botts had sent Fox for some work the firm had done for the moviemaker on a Texas antitrust case wasn’t specific enough about how the amount owed had been calculated.
The recent leaks to ABC-TV network newsman Tim O’Brien about what the Supreme Court’s decision would be on the controversial 60 Minutes libel case and about how the justices would come out on a relatively minor due process case concerning parolees are seen by many court observers as almost predictable, given the time of year and the state of morale among the staff at the high court.
The Academy Awards radiate as much bad usage as they do bad taste. This year’s Oscar telecast was no exception. I could not begin to get Jack Valenti’s and Laurence Olivier’s scrambled metaphors down on paper; for all I know, they may have been commercials for Mixmaster.
People keep telling us the Seventies are the Fifties redux, but they aren’t. To understand this, it is necessary to review the Fifties, when the silent generation—Uncle Ike’s nephews—coexisted with the beat generation. The former generation wasn’t really silent, just morose, dying to grow old before its time.
I think of Jessica Mitford whenever a TV newscaster, eager to prove his journalistic mettle, does yet another two-minute spot on unfair tow-away procedures, thrusting the mike in front of some poor devil of a mechanic and repeating in a hard, assertively trained voice: “Are you not aware that the owner of that Buick is paralyzed from the waist down?" She certainly could teach him a thing or two about how to rake muck.
Elizabeth Hardwick, one of the foremost literary essayists in America, has also established herself as an arresting novelist. Her work is as innovative as Donald Barthelme’s and as emotionally rich as Carson McCullers’s. Hardwick’s latest novel, Sleepless Nights (Random House, $8.95), is an imaginative experiment in organizing a life gone out of order.
<p>If you don't know the name by now, you soon will: Giorgio Armani. He's a revolutionary Italian fashion designer who will have a lot to say about the way American men will look in the Eighties. Heretofore his clothes and accessories have been available in only seven American cities and in very select stores.</p>
In the Giorgio Armani world, as reflected in his clothes, nobody works, nobody wears out. His fantasy is that there are new masses without a boss to dress up to or a machine to mind, without any standards except beauty and truth, for which they can afford to pay with mysterious nonchalance. There have been worse fantasies.
... is hard to explain. That King Juan Carlos I ever gained the throne is implausible. That he has held it for more than three years is incredible
On a rainy Sunday afternoon several weeks before the big election, a group of tourists stood, shoulders hunched against the sepulchral cool, as a guide described the Crypt of the Spanish Kings, deep in the bowels of the Escorial. Kings on one side, he said, queens and consorts on the other.
Establishment publishers thought that Murdoch was trying to bring down the pillars of the press, so they went to war. But it may be that Murdoch has surrendered—and is joining the club
<p>Joseph F. Barletta, general manager of New York’s Daily News, the nation’s largest daily newspaper, is a polite, soft-spoken lawyer not given to the display of strong emotion. A specialist in labor relations, he is by nature a mediator, a conciliator.</p>
While Rupert Murdoch may be having his troubles in the United States, the rest of his empire has become something of a money machine. Says one Australian analyst, “He is running rings around the other Australian press proprietors.” The empire is complex and difficult to analyze.
The Grand Prix race at Monte Carlo opens Europe’s social season in a frenzied week of speed and chic
<p>Penned to the water’s edge by the Alps behind it, huddled around the polluted gray harbor and scrambling upward for extra space, the concentrated form of Monte Carlo is about to burst at the seams in an orgy of speed, noise, sex, gambling, and other jet set excesses.</p>
Women could talk to each other, really talk to each other. It all blew away when the men were there
<p>Veronica and Betty were friends. They met for the first time at a convention. Veronica was on a panel. The panel convened at three. The moderator outlined the subject, stunning the audience. The first panelist said he was a humanitarian. The second said she had never considered the problem in the abstract. The third sucked his pipe. The fourth denied the charges. The fifth said, But what about art? </p>
I am a happy and devoted American Express cardholder. All those stories you hear about nightmare billing disputes? In eleven years I have not had a single problem. I am less enthusiastic about some of my other cardholder benefits, specifically the frequent offers I receive from, or through the courtesy of, American Express.
The story behind the race to finish The China Syndrome before the inevitable real-life accident
<p>I am sitting here with the script of The China Syndrome in my lap. Reading it is a little like reading the prophecies of Isaiah in the Old Testament. The dialogue should have been written on stone tablets, but actually, most of it was written on an electric typewriter that drew some of its power from a nuclear generator.</p>
The IRS allows a wealth of deductions—if you keep good records
New York’s Palace restaurant is, its owner brags, the most expensive eatery in the country. With a typical tab for two at $350, Frank Valenza gets few arguments. Yet the restaurant is now in its fifth year, and you can barely get into the place.
Slew’s day begins with breakfast in bed each morning at five. David Brophy, Slew’s Irish groom, rouses Slew from his standing sleep and delivers a pail filled with three quarts of sweet feed and oats. Slew eats loudly, somewhat like a mutt. He drops hay into his meal or tosses it playfully at Brophy.
<p>HOW PUCKISH CAN YA GET? A birth announcement in the Daily Colonist, a newspaper in Victoria, British Columbia, read in part as follows: “MACKIE—On February 9th while hockey fans everywhere thrilled to the NHL star’s initial Challenge Cup victory over Team Russia, Sharon and Lorne cheered the triumphant arrival of their own splendid rookie superstar. Weighing in at 7 pounds 10 ounces, Kevin Lorne Bryce now centres our own forward line flanked by wingers Laurel and Russell, our perennial allstars."</p>